Stanley, an elderly Jack Russell was a rescue and when his owners were told that his quality of life was diminishing, they made sure his last days were filled with happiness.
I found him in a shelter in Frederick, Maryland. He had a senior discount and was priced at fifty dollars. He's the best fifty dollars of my life. A lot of information was unknown about him, vets could only "guess" his age. I do know that he lived with an elderly man and another dog, the man passed away and Stanley and his sister ended up in the shelter. Sadly, Stanley's sister passed away in the shelter and Stanley was left all alone. That's when my path crossed with his. It was love at first sight.
One thing is for sure, Stanley wasn't much of a cuddler. He was like a museum, you can look but you can only touch on his terms...which were few and far between. He was a riot, he was partially paralyzed in his hind end - he had a wonky walk, and sometimes had no control over his bowels. We called his little brown gifts "Stanley Steamers". His faults made him ever more perfect. I didn't care that he would leave poops for me, and I cherished the moments that he did let me rub his ears.
He Loved His Little Brown Bed
We always found him in his little brown bed, he loved that thing more than life.
He Loved His Little BIG Brother, Alfie
He looked up to his little "big" bother who we rescued two years after rescuing Stanley. They were quite the Jack Russell duo.
They were inseparable.
The Dream Team, Alfie & Stan.
As he aged, things got tougher but we loved him through it.
Because we didn't know much about his past, it was hard to determine if he was in pain. We continued to try to keep him comfy and he kept staying strong.
He was eventually placed on a pain management plan.
Stanley's medicine helped for a while and the diapers were a life saver. Who could resist his cute little bum?
Soon, we knew it was time.
His pain meds stopped helping and he began showing signs of diabetes. We knew that we loved him enough to take his pain away. We created a bucket list to make his last days the happiest, picked a date, and followed our hearts to make Stanley's last days the best.
First, he had a cheeseburger.
I'm sure that people thought that we were crazy as my husband and I sat at the table and watched Stanley enjoy the moment.
Then, he welcome a new brother into the family.
This is Morrie.
He got to see where our new house would be built and even spent time in the back yard.
We will soon be moving out of state and we wanted Stan to know where his ashes will be kept, he also got to say goodbye to my parents.
We took him downtown to get a puppuccino.
We got lots of thumbs up for this one!
He met some other pups at the dog park and told them about his wise ways.
Stanley has always been gentle when meeting new pups and it was heartwarming to see him interact with them. We shared his story with everyone we met on this day, it was nice to be able to talk about it.
Dad took him for a last walk.
Stanley got a good walk in but eventually parked on his hind end and looked up and seemed to say "you gotta hold me, my legs are too short and too old for this".
He got a new bed.
Even though sometimes he doesn't quite make it in the bed.
He said goodbye to friends and introduced his little brother.
Stan said goodbye to his best pals, Tubro and Victoria.
He snuggled with his mom.
This is very rare, but pain meds help him to relax and welcome snuggles.
He had an even bigger snuggle fest with the ones he loved most.
This moment will forever be cherished. Some thought we were nuts for welcoming a new pup into our home even before Stanley passed but it helped to lessen the sting. It means the world to us that Stanley was able to meet Morrie.
He enjoyed ice cream with his brothers.
The sweetest moment.
And was the most brave and gentle soul when it was time to say goodbye.
My husband snapped this picture as I was crying and saying goodbye to Stanley. My boy was so calm and at peace.
He was a good boy.
Stanley left us on March 1, 2016, he will forever be in my heart. It was so hard to say goodbye but so rewarding to be able to give him the best last days.
Forever my little pup.
What a legacy he leaves behind.
I miss my boy. I find myself stopping at the top of the stairs where his ashes are and petting the box and greeting him often. If I let myself, I cold sit down and really feel the emotion of how much I miss that scruffy face. I remember so clearly the day I was trying to prep my car for my new son. I knew I needed to vacuum the floors but I couldn't - Stanley's wiry hairs were embedded and woven into the fabric of the carpet and that was the last physical thing I had of him. I cried hysterically because I felt like a bad mom for not wanting to clean the car and a bad dog mom for feeling like I needed to erase him. That's when my husband grabbed my hand and told me I didn't have to and it was okay to leave Stanley there. His tail still wags in my heart, I can feel it strongly when my heart beats quickly and I get upset and miss him terribly. His paws touch my soul daily, he's the reason why we foster and work with rescues. He's that dog that will forever be a part of me. He is why, no matter how many times I tell myself no, he's exactly why I continue to drive near and far for these little white dogs who so often seem misunderstood.
Pups + Kisses,